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A Second Call: Lisa Gee on Celibacy

Lisa GeeMy name is Lisa. I am 48 years old and have been living single for the Lord in the world for a bit now.

When did I first hear the call?

The first time I heard the call was at my first communion. I was seven and did not know about any such thing. All I knew was that I wanted to belong totally to Jesus and that thought brought me joy. I wish I could report that I kept that ideal but I did not. Why? Maybe I did not trust that this call was real; also I had never met anyone living this way. So I got married and soon had five children. However my husband was an alcoholic and we were separated.  There I was, alone, with five children under eight. What was I to do? The wise thing family and friends thought was to find a nice Christian guy and try this whole thing again. But God had other plans and in the midst of all my worries and fears I heard the call again. Of course there was joy but I thought I have to be reasonable, don’t I? After pondering it for another 3 years I said “yes” to this beautiful way of life in March 1996 and made a public declaration in August of 2000.

What sustains me in this calling?

The most important thing for me is time alone with God in both quality and quantity. If I cut this time short I forget why I am doing this and it becomes drudgery.

Single parenting and celibacy, how does that work?

That was a deep concern of mine; would this choice make life harder on my children? The answer is the divorce made life a struggle but celibacy brought stability and a sense of peace to the home. While we never had much money, my children love each other and treat me with respect and in it all God is glorified. I am the least of all celibates and do not consider myself equal to those who have been true since their youth. But I am grateful that God made something beautiful out of past mistakes. My hope is in His Kingdom when we will see Him as He is.

What has been my biggest struggle?

Unbelief! “Is that God really calling you? Are you sure?” This has left me weak but God is strong and that is my hope. Another pitfall for me was to ask everyone and their uncle about the call. While it is good to check in with a trusted friend or spiritual adviser at the end of the day no one knows that tug in a celibate’s heart and it cheapens the call when we try to defend it from those who just don’t understand. Keep holy things holy. This call is holy!

Next week: book review by Lisa

 
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Posted by on Thu 18th Apr 2013 in Interviews

 

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The Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life: Part 3

Continuation of the outline of the book: The Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life; Charles A.Callagher and Thomas L. Vandenberg. St Paul Publications. England. 1987

Chapter 2: Matrimony and Celibacy: Adversaries or Allies?

 celibacy mythCelibacy and marriage have a great need for each other.

Celibacy, according to the New Testament, is for the Church, for furthering the Kingdom of God. Marriage, too, is for the Church, for furthering the Kingdom.

Celibacy is not a private affair between oneself and God; neither, is marriage. Both are to enrich the Church.

 “When a priest it totally taken with his people, absorbed in them, then celibacy becomes ”of course’ instead of ‘I have to’.” In this way celibacy is no different from faithful marriage. A faithful man promises commitment to one woman and that ‘narrowness’ enhances that one relationship.

It seems that the higher marriage is upheld, the more too is celibacy – and visa-versa. Both marriage and celibacy are a calling, a sacrament. To uphold the sacredness of one is to uphold the sacredness of the other.

Matrimony and celibacy are church experiences; they are complementary life styles meant for each other.”

Celibates need a relationship, friendship, with happily married couples – not just with ones who need their advice because they have problems.

Of both celibacy and marriage: Together, they are reeling from the shock waves of a society that has turned its back from the very notion of commitment itself.” Where marriage fails, so will celibacy and visa versa.

To be continued.

 
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Posted by on Fri 15th Feb 2013 in Books

 

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The Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life: book outline

celibacy mythThe Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life; Charles A.Callagher and Thomas L. Vandenberg. St Paul Publications. England 1987.

 This book is an excellent inspirational book on celibacy, particularly written for Catholic priests. However, it has great relevance to men and women who feel called to celibacy from every tradition.

 Below is an outline of the book (and will be in several parts).

 Introduction: Celibacy is for the Church, it is to further the Kingdom. Celibacy does not imply that marriage is second class. Indeed, Celibacy and marriage are to be equally supportive of each other.

 A commitment to celibacy only thrives through relationships. If the Church’s central focus ceases to be relationships then celibacy will lose its power and meaning:

 “The point of celibacy is not to show people how to live alone but to facilitate their living together. Celibacy is not an excuse to hang a ‘Do no–Disturb’ sign in front of the parish house. To the contrary, it is a gift of the Spirit that invites a priest to be accessible to his people. While he is bound to benefit personally, celibacy is ultimately for the sake of his people and for the building up of the church as a community of faith. Of its nature, celibacy is not meant to be lived in private. It is a call to relationship.”

However, a relationship with God is also all-important:God alone is the reality that can give purpose and meaning to a celibate’s life. Without a life of communion with Jesus, he is bound to lose his way.”

The way for celibates is not so much about God entering our lives but us entering God’s life.  We do not merely want to live for Him, but to live His life for the sake of others.

To be continued

 
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Posted by on Fri 1st Feb 2013 in Books

 

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Living life to love

A friend of mine suggested I post some words to a song I wrote recently.  The first bits that came were a few chords, a rhythm and some wo o o o o’s, but a few days later I got thinking…  Both my parents are in their 70s now and before long I’ll be hitting 40. I suddenly started to grasp just how short our life on Planet Earth is and felt so grateful for knowing God in my life.  It also made me want to give my best for the next 40 years or so, as it’s the only chance I’ve got and there’s the whole of eternity to enjoy.  So, here they are…(without the wo o o o o’s)

Flowers fade, but Your love remains; we’re growing older, but You stay the same.

Time’s passing by like the blink of an eye; want to give us my life for others God.

We’ve only got one life to live and there’s and endless stream of love to give.

When I die, my life has passed me by, I want to say that I walked with You my Lord.

Each passing day, help me to live Your way, so I’m storing some treasure up above.

We’ve only got one life to live and there’s an endless stream of love to give.

When we stand there, New Earth’s breezes in our hair, a perfect bride at Your side;

Round us there’ll be those we helped to be free.  They’ll be weaving together worship harmonies.

We’ve only got one life to live and there’s an endless stream of love to give.

So let’s give it!

 
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Posted by on Tue 30th Oct 2012 in Snippets

 

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Celibate Heart: Married to Christ the Lamb

One of a selection of poems written by people in the Jesus Fellowship about celibacy

I have a gift which brings me joy,
Purchase of Jesus’ blood,
My life a sacrifice poured out
To build the church of God.

      A gift the Spirit keeps renewed,
      My soul knows one desire,
      To speak the power of Jesus Christ
      And bring revival fire.

            Always this gift I'll recognise,
            I pledge to Him again,
            My will, my heart, my all is His,
            "Married" to Christ the Lamb.

 New Creation Farm, Northamptonshire. 1994.
 
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Posted by on Fri 24th Aug 2012 in Poetry

 

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